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31 January, 2010

Christian Group Fail

A Christian Group has been charged with human trafficking for attempting to take 33 children from Haiti. The spokesperson for the group writes the incident off as a misunderstanding that the group needed to complete more paperwork in order to take the children, while one girl in the group lamented to authorities that she is in fact not an orphan at all, and thought she was going to summer camp.

For more information, see the article here

30 January, 2010

Catholics Come Home

The Catholic Church is realizing that its membership is leaking like sieve. So to bring back sheep that may have strayed, they've created a new website and commercials made to give estranged members a warm and fuzzy feeling, reminding them of the happy times they had going to mass with mommy and daddy, sometime before they stopped believing in Santa Claus and before their priest raped them in the rectory-erm-rectum. Or both. (Just sayin').

Fortunately, those that left the church because of the concretized, unforgiving and oppressive dogmatic rules and doctrine can see from the first page that the Church is still the same one that cast the world into the dark ages for thousands of years and stalled scientific progress that would have had us on the moon centuries ago. They are the same church that exhort over-population, AIDS through the condemnation of condom use, bigotry, zealousness and hatred.

All you have to do after watching their introduction video that encourages you to "ask the questions" that you may have about the Cahtolic Church, you can click on over to the "Answering Your Questions" tab and get all the answers you may have forgotten in the years of your absence.

Here's one of the most ironic "answers" the site will give you.  In, "Contraception and Infertility" the website explains why the church is against letting women or couples have reproductive rights over their bodies and their lives through the use of contraceptives. You see, using The Pill or condoms opens a couple up to the "problem with a couple deliberately saying "no" to the possibility of God's gift of children."

Now, call me crazy, but is this website really saying that the religion whose core belief rests on the  virgin birth of their savior is against contraception because it might prevent God from giving a woman the gift of child?

Really, Catholic Church? Really? Do you truly believe that people are too dumb to notice this inconsistency? Wow.

God Loves You

God loves us. Unfortunately, we are so disgusting to him that he has had to destroy the Earth multiple times and even kill an innocent man in order for us to get the picture that he doesn't really want us to go to hell. Never mind the fact that having created everything, he also created the Tree that Eve is said to have eaten, the serpent that tricked her, and knew all along that it would happen that way and now we will pay for our disobedience. Never mind that he is the only "parent" in the world that would threaten to lock his kids in a cellar or a dark room and torture them forever and doesn't get a call from CPS.

But after sending his Son down to take on our sins and killing him to make us all clean, why doesn't God just come in and hang out with us? Make himself known? Not only that, but why promise to destroy the Earth within the life time of Jesus if we have all been spared by Jesus's blood? And why didn't that destruction actually occur and why are people still waiting for it to happen two thousand years later?

There is no sufficient answer to these questions. Even a theist will say that there is no sufficient answer that can be given because we mere mortals would never understand God's mysterious ways. Argue against logic by presenting an argument that can never, ever be tested or proven seems to be the best and safest route they can take. Otherwise, they would have to admit that their loving Creator isn't so loving after all.

The Problem of Sin

One of the most used arguments theists have for the existence of God is that morality is a code that could only have come from a higher being. "Every law has a law giver," they say. The argument is that if humans were like any other animal species, descended from a common ancestor of apes, there is nothing stopping us from killing and eating each other, stealing from each other and generally spreading chaos throughout the world. (Obviously, one could argue easily that we do spread chaos, but I would argue this isn't our animal nature, but a product of stress put on by culture and society, but that's for another post).

The problem with this argument is three-fold. First, animals within species groups hardly cannibalize each other. Next, there is no evidence that atheists commit more crimes than believers. In fact, the very opposite could be true. The third problem is that in order to accept this argument, one must also accept the premise that human beings are naturally bad and "sinful." All these can be easily refuted by simple common sense.

Wolf packs are wonderful things (and no, I'm not quoting Allen from "The Hangover"). My Human Services professor used to tell the class that if we were greeted by our family every day the way that wolf packs greet their families when they return from hunting or scouting, we would all be much happier people. There is a reason why wolf packs are often used as symbols of unity or loyalty or even the names of sports teams. Wolves serve no God, have no religion and go to no church. And yet they do not murder each other in cold blood or eat each other. In fact, I'm no biologist, but I'm sure one would be hard pressed to find many species that cannibalize members of their own groups.

When people say things like, "People are not mere animals, otherwise we'd all be eating each other," they are making no point and simply showing their ignorance of human behavior and animal behavior. Obviously, animals hunt and eat other animals of different species, but we do the same. There is no evidence that a lack of religion causes any kind of lawlessness or chaos. This brings us to the next point.

There are people who argue that without divine moral codes, people are pretty much screwed. And yet, there are so many people who do horrible things who believe in the very same religious moral authority that theists insist came directly from God and plenty of people who do not believe in God and yet lead wonderful moral and compassionate lives. In fact, in nations with higher numbers of atheism, the chance of that nation going to war with another seems to be reduced in some studies. Imagine that. But theists simply can't believe that this is true. They write this off in the condescending, "Well, those people have God, they just don't know it," or even worse, "Those religious people doing those crimes aren't truly saved, they just thought they were." In that case, why even make the distinction? Why even give God credit?

The last problem with this argument on morality is that in order to believe it one must accept the assumption that man is full of sin and evil from the day he is born. The idea that humans could create a moral code through defining what is best for the whole of the group or through social and cultural customs is so absurd to them because human beings are inherently bad. Even their Bible goes so far as to say that a human being is so bad that no matter how good they are to each other-they could be the nicest, most giving and loving person in the world who never took anything from anyone-they are still so repulsive and sinful to God that they can't even see him without going through his Son, even though it was God who created man in the first place. This is the very same Creation that he killed with fire and flood and even threatens to destroy again someday. This is the Creation whose sins and uncleanliness are so horrible that God can't even touch it. And yet he loves humans so much? Mixed message much?

I heard it said that when Jesus was dying on the cross and he said, "My God, why have you forsaken me?" he wasn't just some crazy man that thought he was God's son and realized at that moment that he obviously wasn't going to be pulled from the cross, he was actually unclean to God and finally felt what it was like to be a dirty, filthy human being and not be able to touch God. The very center of the religion isn't about being saved by Jesus. It's about being disgusting to God. That is why is it so impossible for believers to consider that our laws and codes, morals and ethics could have risen out of a need to walk safely amongst each other for the benefit of our species. I would argue that religion can be one avenue to learn those laws and codes, but it is not necessary for their creation.

These problems could be discussed further, but I think this brief overview is enough for this blog. Anyway, I'd like to hear what the readers have to say about these arguments and what their impressions of human behavior are, good or bad. Feel free to comment below, but if it gets out of hand, I will moderate comments.

28 January, 2010

A Question of Faith

I got the idea for this blog a few weeks ago when I was listening to a morning radio program that was having a discussion on Steven Baldwin's typical Born Again answer to the question, "If someone had a gun to your head and told you to renounce God, would you?"  Evidently, someone asked him if the gun was up to his young daughter's head, what would he tell his daughter to do? His response was something to the effect of "I would tell her to do what I had taught her," which pretty much means don't forsake your lord and get your brains blown out because you're going to heaven anyway.

An atheist would have no problem telling someone they did believe in God if it meant their life. There's nothing cowardly in that. It's simply that we have no over-bearing, jealous and unwavering Desert God to keep us from preserving our own lives. Also, it makes no sense that God would get some kind of satisfaction from people letting themselves be victims of crime just to stroke his ego. I mean, wouldn't God of all people understand? I'd tell a man with a gun that I hate my father and that he's the worst dad in the world. No problem. Afterwards, while my dad and I enjoyed the fact that I had escaped a crazed gunman, I'd thank him for being such a smart man and teaching me to keep my wits about me. He'd never for an instance think I'd actually meant what I said to the gunman. After all, my dad is the best father in the world. And apparently, he's even more forgiving and understanding than the God of Abraham.

The question came up, what if you were the one with the gun to your head, would you want the Christian to denounce God to save your life? Great question. The hosts said they would, even though they themselves admitted to believing in God.

But what about an atheist? A Christian knows through what they are taught in their faith that the moment the gunman pulls the trigger, that atheist is going to hell. What would be a worse sin? Denouncing God to save another person's life or getting them killed and sending them straight to hell?

Would would Jesus do?

I'd like to hear from atheist what they think about  this situation, why there shouldn't be a problem with lying to psychotic people with guns to save lives, and what their general reaction to this story about Steven Baldwin's daughter might be.

Christians, I want you to answer the question. Use scripture if you'd like. In fact, please do. But when you do, I'd like you to think long and hard about the answer that you are giving, and why it makes sense to you.

That's all.

27 January, 2010

National Day of Prayer

I'd like to know what people will be doing for the National Day of Prayer, May 6th. Every year I hear about this event and I also hear of atheist or humanist organizations getting together and doing things like give blood. While religious people are taking time to pray despite the fact that there is no evidence prayer does anything for anyone other than the person who is praying, humanists are actually doing something about the state of the world we live it. I like that idea. If you care to bother, the website is here: http://www.ndptf.org/

If you know of any places having blood drives, working soup kitchens, putting on any charity events, etc, please post them in the comments.


An Introduction

 A few months ago my big sister gave me a book titled, "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist," by two men named Geisler and Turek. The work starts out with the assumption that there is proof God exists and that it can be proven that the Christian God is the one that exists. Then it sets out to insult atheists. In the very beginning of the book, it tells the reader that anyone reading the so-called evidence in it and not coming to the same conclusions the authors are presenting are simply biased and could never come to the same conclusion no matter what evidence for God's existence may be presented. It proceeds to misunderstand the same science that creationists always seem to get wrong: physics, anthropology, evolution, thermodynamics, etc.

How very insulting to our intelligence, first of all, but the biggest thing that got my blood boiling was the argument that without God, there is no morality. Now, I've heard this before; atheists choose not to believe in a creator because then they can live whatever life they want and are answerable to no one. In fact, flipping through radio stations last night I came upon the Catholic channel spouting all about how all scientists must make the evidence fit with their evolutionary theory because otherwise they would have to be held accountable to their behavior. Now, I'm no scientist myself, but I doubt the Saturday nights of PhD scientists and researchers are spent participating in strip-club debauchery and devil-may-care shenanigans.

And yet, there is nothing in the book which can account for the fact that countries with higher numbers of atheists often have lower crime rates and war and that there are so few atheists in our prisons. "There must be a higher standard," they insist, because they don't believe that human beings, in all their selfishness and sinfulness, could have come up with a moral code on their own. And therein is their first and foremost erroneous assumption.

In this blog I will present arguments regarding the assumption that humans are nothing but evil without divine guidance. In fact, it is my hope to show that humans can be more moral than the God of the desert that Christians have pulled from a savage age and have chosen to worship. I will show that their so-called, "Law Giver" could not have written even the laws that grant men and women the freedom they enjoy that is protected by modern democratic documents such as the Constitution of the United States. I will also post different moral dilemmas as thought experiments and how I think a person following the Bible might have to answer versus someone who can make a moral decision based on what's best instead of what's written.

I also want to hear from you. Please comment often, but keep it civil. There is no need to insult a theist, they do it themselves often enough. Besides, seeing them turn frothy at the mouth and start trolling in the face of reason and logic is always satisfying, I'll be honest. And always, have a good time.